Hanging ornaments such as these are known as 'tsurushi (hanging) kazari' or 'tsurushi hina'. These ornaments have been part of traditional culture since the Edo period, and the custom is rooted in the Izu-Inatori Onsen region. During the Hina (Girls) Festival, parents prayed for their daughter's happiness through a thread taken from a piece of old clothing. It is this hina hanging ornament that swings from both sides of the tiered stand used for the presentation of the hina dolls.
This custom is called 'sagemon' in Yanagawa, Kyushu, 'kasafuku' in Sakata, Yamagata, and 'hanging hina' in Izu-Inatori. Only these three districts have inherited this historical patrimony, documents and photos.
People entrust their wishes to the ornament. Some 110 ornaments have separate meanings. For example, the red eyes of a rabbit are supposed to have the power of causing and curing diseases. A rabbit is said to be the servant of a deity.
It is lots of fun to decorate with ornaments that suit each season. Your favorite small objects will colour your life and enrichen your heart.
“Wagara-Yukataji Aloha Shirts” made of domestically produced fancy Yukata cloth with traditional Japanese patterns are developed, designed and sold by KANTARO’S. Tsuyoshi Fujii, the owner of the shop, gave the name to the products. A Japanese taste and a Western style are successfully blended, while there are no oversights in every detail. As the cloth sold for Yukata is 40 cm in width, two pieces of cloth are sewed together at the back. Two back tucks are made for easy movement and air permeability. Buttons are made of natural materials, mainly bamboo. The Chest, waistline, sleeve width and armhole opening are made loose. The sleeve is sewed to the sleeve cap and stitches are given on the seam. Before going on sale, the prototypes had been tried on by a lot of people with various body types and improved in the process of trial and error. Mr. Fujii says, “We made efforts to design it so that the front piece won’t be pulled up even when worn by a person with a little potbelly. We are also careful about the patterns of the pockets to fit those on the body pieces. As is explained by Mr. Fujii, there are thoughtful considerations given to cover for our figures.
Masako Ban is an internationally successful accessory designer. After working at Ban Shigeru Architects she turned her skills to becoming a graphic designer. In 2001, while in London, self taught she started working with accessory design. Upon returning to Japan, she founded her own company, “acrylic”. In 2005, her first collection was selected for the MOMA Design Store in New York, and in November of the same year, she opened her own store also called acrylic in Tokyo. Her work is characterized by simplicity in design, with the materials and finish also playing a very important part in the final product. As can be seen from the cutting technique used with the acrylic and sponge, she shows appreciation and respect for Japanese craft techniques and prefers to manufacture in Japan. In the future she plans to focus on expanding various collaboration series with Japanese traditional craft artists.
Urushi-ring is an acrylic based ring with a lacquered top created by Masako Ban, an internationally acclaimed accessory designer. Her innovative application of materials and appreciation for Japanese craft techniques has taken her design to a new frontier. The simply designed yet profoundly deep urushi-ring distills the essence of modernism in Japanese craft work today. Manufacture requires highly skilled techniques to lacquer on the small surface of the ring. and achieving the perfect color and texture takes considerable time. After much trial and error, using different craft artists, each expert in their own acrylic and lacquer techniques, and combining the sum of their skills, she perfected this unique piece in which two materials; acrylic and lacquer, delicately complement each other. This is a ring which over time as the piece ages, the gloss and colors change subtlety and the more you can appreciate its beauty.
Taimo brushes (baby-hair brushes) are made from the first hair to be cut from a baby. This means that they can be made only once in a lifetime. They are presented as a special amulet or treasure and represent the wish that a child will grow to be smart, healthy and have good-handwriting (because Japanese was traditionally written with a brush).
Taimo brushes are presented more often than umbilical cords these days to the 'child' at their coming-of-age ceremony or their wedding. It is one good reminder in the world today of the parents' love for their child.
You can order a taimo brush through a calligraphy store or a barbershop, or directly from a brush store. To make a good brush, the length of baby hair needed is about 5-6cm, and the diameter should be the equivalent of an adult pinkie. Even if the hair is frizzy or wavy, it can be straightened in a process called 'hinoshi'.
As for children of other nationalities than Japanese, brushes made with brown or blond hair are possible, too.
It is believed that the rosary existed before the birth of Buddha. In religious Brahman texts, it states that Tamonten (Vaisravana), Benzaiten (Sarasvati) and Bonten (Brahma) had an object called 'renju'. It is also believed that the 'renju' is the original form of the Buddhist rosary.
In ancient times a king is recorded as consulting Buddha for political measure. Consequently Buddha told the king to create a rosary and wear it. As told, the king made a wooden rosary not only for himself but for his men also. Later the people concentrated together for happiness. As a result, the rosary brought welfare and the people were happy.
Buddhist rosaries are made of crystal, a material known to clean everything, such as spirit and body. It is also said that crystal leads to tranquility and peace. These rosaries may remove misfortune from the owner.
Japan is said to be a technology-oriented nation and 'technology' usually means high-technology, such as semiconductors. But Japan has had frontier technology in every historical period.
Civil engineering technology, traditional handicrafts and arts are described as 'takumi' and feature fine and careful frontier technology that equals any high-technology in modern times.
Handicraft symbolises the expression of things in a small world. Fine and beautiful patterns on relatively small works are unique to Japan. If you can work sensitively within the limits available to many Japanese craftsmen, it is evidence that you are Japanese.
This 12cm-long strap has become a work of art in the hands of a braid artist who has inherited the takumi technique used in Kyoto. In this craft, splendid silk threads in the traditional colors of light pink and verdant green demonstrate the unique artistic sense of Japanese people.
Women are apt to be concerned about their appearance and devote heart and soul to selecting hairstyles, cosmetics, and dresses; however when it comes to kimono, why do most women accept sales clerks’ opinions at once and buy set products? Because you don’t buy a kimono and its related things very often? As a matter of fact, it is very natural that you want to wear a high quality kimono with best fitted accessories for the very reason that you don’t wear a kimono very often. We’re sure you will find something that suits to your taste at Miyu on-line shop. You don’t have a kimono? That’s all right. Miyu provides you with a kimono cloth at the price less than \.50,000. Don’t ponder over what to wear. A Japanese would choose a kimono, wouldn’t you? And you will look your best in a stylish kimono. (photo: zori sandals with the sandal throngs made of Yumegoromo obi-belt cloth)